"F*** or Fight, It's Friday Night!"

 Another gig has come and gone with Monday morning drowning all illusions of rock stardom in a typical Vancouver winter downpour. Liquid sheets of grey battered down onto my rickety, tattered umbrella as I walked to the Skytrain on my dutiful way to another scintillating day of customer service. And here I sit. It sounds dire, doesn’t it? It was a hangover, for certain, but from a creative high and well worth the Monday blues.

The band often throws around the word “ennui” when joking about artistic pretension but man, oh man, it feels apt on days like this. However, I can just as easily flip it sunny-side up – the reason it feels so dreary is because we had such a great time playing Friday night. If you missed it, that’s a shame, it was a good’un. The rust and nerves commensurate with such a long lay-off between shows were a good kick in the pants for us to be on our game for Friday and it paid off. The set was tight, folks were responsive, old fans were engaged and new fans made. Sold a bit of merch, drank a few beers, traded some contact info with the other bands and flopped into bed spent in the best way possible – well, maybe not the best way possible, that would require someone next to you, equally spent, but, you know, generally satisfied.

Other musicians reading this would find none of this remarkable, as ordinary as mowing the lawn is to a homeowner, but maybe because of the lapse in regular gigs over the last couple of years, the whole night just felt richer to me than usual. It wasn’t an error-free show or a fancy venue – the British Ex-Servicemen’s Club is basically like any small Legion: some colourful regulars, dart boards, a weekend Meat Draw and a portrait of the Queen (Liz, just in case you were imagining Nefertiti or Freddie Mercury) in the middle panel of a triptych bordered by the maple leaf and union jack on either side. This is a place where my dad would hang out. And my playing wasn’t note perfect but it was solid and I was in the moment so I can’t ask for much more than that. What ultimately feels most satisfying is that beyond all the usual, ongoing self-doubt and questioning of my artistic path (even whether the path was ever meant to be artistic) the feeling of correctness that infuses my time performing is indomitable. I forget that feeling in between times onstage. I’m pretty good at what I do when I do it the right way, which means I’ve put the work in, gathered my focus and delivered a performance with energy and sincerity.

I’m getting better at multitasking, not just for singing while playing guitar, but also in knowing what effects need to be punched in or out, what song is next in the set, if I need to relax a little more so my hand doesn’t cramp up, where the cute girls are to make eye contact with… I’ll let you decide if I’m joking about the last one or not. Basically, I'm trying to channel my inner Maud'Dib so that I can see all futures at once. This is no small task. Goofy "Dune" references aside, what’s important is that performing can be a place of unabashed confidence for me and that’s too rare in many other facets of my life. I gotta find a way to bottle that and swig from it in my civilian life. And I gotta find a way to remember it when I tell people about the band. Sometimes it feels like once you’ve past 30, saying you play in a band comes off more like a guilty admission than the proud declaration it is in your 20’s. People assume you should have “made it” or given up by now and wonder why you’re clinging to a juvenile fantasy like a balding man who insists on a ponytail. It’s hard to explain to people who don’t have that artistic drive. Your endeavors aren’t hobbies, they’re compulsions. And “making it” is worlds apart from making something and I’m not sure I care much about the former anymore. Well, maybe a little…

Anyway, we’re reenergized by the show and looking forward to playing more often. The EP is just around the corner – honest! The official release may end up being in the early New Year but mixes are just about locked and ready to master. We’ll be sharing some more artwork soon and we’ll hopefully keep some steady content coming on the site, so, y’know, stay tuned. Thanks again to The Dadolescents, Chris Ford, Oswaldo & CITR and everyone who made it out to the show Friday and made us feel like rock stars!

Now, speaking of performances, I have to go back to work and help some people with their problems and sense of entitlement. “How can I help youuuuu…?”

Smithee






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